After one semester of law school, Dani Rush realized being an attorney was not for her.
But Rush refused to quit. Bolstered by people who told her that practicing law would be different from studying it, she graduated in less than three years and passed the bar exam.
“I don’t like the idea of quitting something without seeing it through,” said Rush, who graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2013. “That’s why when I finished up with law school, even though I knew after the first semester it wasn’t a good fit, I wanted to practice as well.”
Rush worked in family law for six months and then in criminal defense for a year before leaving the profession.
“For some reason, I’m one of those people that cannot separate work from life,” she said of her time practicing criminal defense law. “Dealing with all the personal stories is kind of what got me out of it.”
A brief stint with an event planning company in Bethesda followed. Then Rush’s mother, Maryann Rush, a broker and appraiser with more than three decades of experience in real estate, suggested the two become partners in a real estate venture. Dani Rush, at her mother’s insistence, had received her broker’s license while she was in college but had let it lapse.
The hypothetical discussion soon led to reality, with Dani Rush sitting for the real estate exam again and then listing her first home within a month. She is now the president of Belrush Realty, a Timonium-based boutique firm.
Though she no longer practices law, Rush said the experience and the connections she made in law school have been helpful in her real estate career.
“It really helped me in the beginning when I was starting from scratch, because in real estate all you have is your reputation,” she said. “From a reputation standpoint, people give a lot more credence to attorneys, whether we deserve it or not.”
Rush said she is also able to think through a contract like an attorney and make sure she does the best job for her clients.
Though she appreciates how her law degree has helped her, Rush said she has no plans to return to practicing law and is on inactive status with the Maryland Bar. With her first child due in September, Rush said real estate will provide a more flexible schedule for a new parent.
“I don’t regret anything,” she said. “I think it’s all led me to where I am and I’m pretty happy with where I am.”